Concerns rising for Richard Guest groom missing from work for over a week
Concerns are growing over the whereabouts of Richard Guest's travelling head lad Richard Thompson, who has been absent from work for more than a week and has not made contact with family or friends.
Thompson, a familiar face on the racecourse whenever the stable have runners, was last seen at Guest's yard in Ingmanthorpe near Wetherby two Saturdays ago, when he took a horse to Redcar.
Although he returned that evening, he did not show up for work the following morning and has not been in touch since, telling a colleague last Monday he had bought a tent and would be away for a couple of days.
A man with a tent matching Thompson's description was sighted near Ripon on Wednesday, but there has been no other sign of the 33-year-old, whose disappearance has now been reported to police.
Chris Penney, Guest's racing secretary, said: "We've not had any contact since Monday. The last time we saw him was when I helped him load up our runner, which he took to Redcar on Saturday evening.
"We know he came back because the horsebox was returned and the filly was in her stable. He was meant to be working on Sunday but when the other staff on site got up at 7am to feed the horses there was no sign of him. We believe he left the yard between 11pm Saturday and 7am Sunday.
"I spoke to him on the phone on Monday afternoon, when he said he needed to get away for a couple of days. He had bought a tent and some supplies. He told me at the time he was in a pub or cafe in Masham charging his phone and he was making his way back towards Ripon.
"We had a runner at Ripon on Tuesday and were expecting him to turn up at the racecourse, get in the horsebox and get a lift home, but he never did, and since Monday every time we've tried calling him his phone has been off."
Penney added: "He's not been touch with anyone at the yard or any of his family or friends. It's definitely out of character because he's a friendly, jovial, happy person and is the one person from our yard you see most because he takes most of the runners racing.
"On Monday he seemed in good form but it's now over a week since anyone who knows him has seen him and six days since he's been in touch with anyone. The police were informed on Friday. They've been helping to look for him but we're all tremendously worried."
A dog walker reported a possible sighting of Thompson along the river bank in Bishop Monkton, not far from Ripon racecourse on Wednesday, plus a tent nearby.
THIS IS RICHARD THOMPSON A MEMBER OF THE TEAM HERE AT RICHARD GUEST RACING, HE HAS NOW BEEN MISSING FOR 1 WEEK, PLEASE SHARE AND HELP US FIND HIM!! More information & Photos on our Facebook Page. Last known sightings in Ripon/Masham areas. pic.twitter.com/1qapNca98I— Richard Guest Racing (@RGRingmanthorpe) September 1, 2018
"The police found the tent but there was no one in it, nor any possessions," said Penney. "We don't know whether it was or wasn't his tent."
Family and friends have appealed on social media for help locating Thompson, who was at Windsor on August 20 when Udontdodou landed the Sprint Series Finale under Gerald Mosse.
Guest said: "After that he was raving about what a lovely person Gerald was. Gerald was going to ride Exchequer at Lingfield on Wednesday so I thought he'd be back on Tuesday to go there.
"He lives on his phone, he would speak to his dad every day and has every app in the world. He's not in racing for the wages, he loves his role and the sport.
"There were no issues with him. He's gone away before and liked going for rural walks, but only for two days. I'm definitely worried now."
Anyone with information should contact the yard on 07715 516072, by email to enquiries@richardguestracing.
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